A Contest To Build A Disaster-Ready Robot
When disasters hit, relief workers often have to put their own lives at risk. Many workers at the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan received dangerous doses of radiation after the accident there last year. The Pentagon hopes a contest to build a better robot will make it easier and safer to mitigate disasters.
Immediately after the tsunami and explosions that damaged the Fukushima plant, workers had no way to access areas where radiation levels were lethal. Robots from Massachusetts-based iRobot had to be rushed in. iRobot CEO Colin Angle says valuable time was lost as personnel were trained how to use them.
“Robots on site would have saved days. Appropriate training would have saved days and potentially could have minimized the venting of some of the radioactive gasses,” Angle says.
That’s why DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, this week…
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